Narrow victories for Real and Barca

Table toppers Real Madrid edge to a 1-0 victory over Getafe while Barcelona claim 2-1 win over Real Sociedad in La Liga.

    Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring the goal that gave Real Madrid victory over Getafe [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Real Madrid overcame windy conditions to win 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday thanks to a Sergio Ramos goal.

    Jose Mourinho's men remain seven points ahead of Barcelona who also defeated Real Sociedad 2-1. 

    Without ever getting into top gear 'los blancos' did just enough to deserve the points at the scene of Barcelona's only defeat this season, but they had to survive a clear shout for a penalty by the home team in the second period.

    Mourinho decided to leave Gonzalo Higuain, linked this week with Chelsea, on the bench preferring Karim Benzema up front and recalled Xabi Alonso and stayed loyal to an improving Kaka in midfield.

    Abdel Barrada had the first chance of the game for Getafe when he headed narrowly over the bar after just two minutes and the game was even until Madrid went ahead on 18 minutes.

    Ramos outjumped Getafe defender Juan Valera to head home a Mesut Ozil corner for his third goal of the season and the only one of the game.

    Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya had to be alert to stop a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick on 35 minutes and three minutes later Miku went close at the other end with a header from a Juan Rodriguez free-kick, but chances were few
    and far between as both teams struggled to adapt to the conditions.

    Moya again blocked a Ronaldo shot on 60 minutes and two minutes later he advanced quickly to block a shot from Benzema.

    Getafe had a penalty claim turned down on 70 minutes when a Diego Castro shot appeared to strike Pepe's outstreched arm and their best chance to find an equaliser had gone.

    Moya dived full length on 77 minutes to deny Higuain, who had replaced Benzema minutes before and Madrid played out the rest of the game comfortably holding on to their slim lead.

            Messi  continued his fantastic season with another goal against Real Sociedad [AFP] 

    Barcelona went ahead early on against Real Sociedad through a Cristian Tello goal after only nine minutes.

    Lionel Messi continued doing what he does best, scoring, to double the lead in the 74th minute before Sociedad pulled one back only two minutes later through Carlos Vela.

    However, Barcelona held on to keep pressure on Real Madrid at the top of the league.   

    Earlier in the day Levante drew 1-1 at home to struggling Racing Santander to remain in fourth place in La Liga as Athletic Bilbao drew with Espanyol 3-3 in the clash between their two closest rivals.

    The results means Levante stay ahead of Espanyol on goal difference with both teams on 32 points, four points behind 3rd-placed Valencia, who play on Sunday, and two points ahead of sixth-placed Bilbao.

    In a frantic game Espanyol snatched a point with a last-minute equaliser from Uruguayan Juan Albin, who smashed home a pass from substitute Kalu Uche.

    Earlier, Oscar De Marcos had put Bilbao ahead on 25 minutes, only for Koffi Romaric to even the game up seven minutes later.

    Within two minutes of the restart Vladimir Weiss, on loan from Manchester City, put the visitors ahead with a dipping drive from 25 yards before Spanish international centre-forward Llorente levelled the game on 57 minutes and Javi
    Martinez headed home an Ander Herrera cross to put Bilbao 3-2 ahead.

    Espanyol fully deserved a point for their part in an entertaining game that keeps both teams in the hunt for European classification.

    Arouna Kone headed home a Pedro Botelho cross to put Levante ahead on 23 minutes.

    However, Santander found a way back on 60 minutes when Manuel Arana produced an unstoppable left-footed shot from the edge of the area to grab a vital point for them.

    Mallorca beat Real Betis 1-0 thanks to a well-struck Chori Castro free-kick on 23 minutes.

    Sunday scores

    In Sunday’s games Villarreal won their first away match of the season by beating Sevilla 2-1 from Javier Camunas' late goal, exacerbating the Andalusian club's struggles in the Spanish league.

    Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with third-place Valencia, staying undefeated in five games since former player Diego Simeone took over as coach.

    Sporting Gijon were held to a 1-1 home draw by Osasuna on coach Inaki Tejada's debut, and last-place Zaragoza remained winless for 14 straight games after squandering an early lead to fall 2-1 at home to Rayo Vallecano.



    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.